Advent Calendar Idea

Maybe you’ll be getting a new deck of cards this year in your Christmas stocking. If so, here’s an idea for what to do with your old deck. I made this scrapbook-inspired advent calendar last year from an old deck of cards.

In the spirit of upcycle and on a mission to make an advent calendar, I rummaged through my craft boxes, finding spare scraps, odd buttons, random thread and lace, and numbers, and then scrounged some holidayish-looking items. Using a fabulous vintage frame I’d been saving and an old deck of cards, I started cutting and pasting, the old-fashioned way. The cards have special meaning because my grandpa, now gone, gave me this deck many years ago after teaching me card tricks. Casino issue, the whole set had been punched with a hole upon its professional retirement, perfect for this project.

Most of my advent calendar is upcycled, but I did use a new alphabet stamp set and pad for some of the numbers and a dear friend lent me her Cricut machine that cuts paper into all kinds of shapes and sizes. Even the styrofoam backing is a scrap I snagged from the ‘shipping warehouse’ side of our farm.

When I showed my mother the finished project, she asked how on earth I burned all the edges of the paper and cards so evenly. Here’s a handy tip: rub the edges of your paper with a brown stamp pad, and it instantly looks rustic, aged, and even a bit burned in places.

Underneath each card is a smaller card with a note that is a 24-day treasure hunt for my children. Every year, I come up with things like, “Where on earth might your dollies be?” And then, underneath their sleeping dollies, sugar-plum lollipops await them or the promise of an extra-long bedtime story.


This year we’re having fun with the Elf on the Shelf. Anyone else doing that?


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    This is just the cutest idea! I love the colorful result and the extra additions from your craft box. Advent calendars are always so much fun when you are a child!

  2. Sharon D. says:

    Megan, this is such a wonderful idea! If I had children I would definitely be incorporating this into our family time. I bet the girls are loving every moment of this 🙂
    Ahhhh memories of that elf on a shelf in our home growing up. My brothers and I would be so excited to see where the elf was lurking 🙂 Have a wonderful day!

  3. Anita K. says:

    I confess that the elf sort of creeps me out, and I enjoy seeing the funny posts on facebook of him doing naughty things!

  4. Karlyne says:

    I have so many grubby old cards that I hope I’m getting new ones! Great idea!

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